state of civil and political rights: Partly free
constitution: approved March 1987, suspended and re-established many times, returned to constitutional rule in May 2006
legal system: based on Roman civil law system
legislative system: bicameral National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale) consists of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies
judicial system: Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) Haiti is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
religion: 80% Catholic; 16% Protestant; Voodoo minority
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (signed only)
American Convention on Human Rights
Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (1985) (signed only)
Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty) (only signed)
The Constitution of the Republic of Haiti (1987) at Art. 20 states: "The death penalty is abolished with respect to all crimes." Art. 20 is included under Title III "Basic Rights and Duties of the Citizen."
Abolitionist since 1987, the last execution to be held in Haiti was in 1972. In 2004, Haiti marked the 200th anniversary of its founding, but celebrations were marred by an uprising that caused President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to flee the country in February. Dozens were killed in the violence. A US-led peacekeeping that arrived in the country as the president went into exile was replaced by a Brazilian-led UN force in June. This UN mission is expected to stay until elections scheduled for late 2005. Members of the interim government under interim President Boniface Alexandre and led by Prime Minister Gerard Latortue will not stand for these elections. In late 2004 Haiti was in the grip of deadly political violence with gangs loyal to Aristide blamed for many killings.
On December 17, 2018, Haiti voted again in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly, and co-sponsored the text.